Photo of Rebecca Webb

Rebecca Webb
Lecturer in Early Years and Primary Education (Education)
T: +44 (0)1273 876712


These relate to both my substantive areas of interest in Early Years, Primary and Higher Education, and my methodological and theoretical interests in qualitative research.

In particular, my areas of interest are:  purposes of education and schooling, (including Early Years Education); discourses of citizenship, rights and responsibilities, and belonging; equality/diversity; ideas of learning and teaching; gender identities and subjectivities; politics and the political.

My research specialisms relate to ethnography, particularly, and contexts in which I can apply ethnographic and observational sensibilities within qualitiative educational research projects.  I alert to opportunities for exploring new ways of researching qualititatively and with new and diverse partners.

My theoretical interests are broadly focussed on social construction and post-foundational ideas of working with difficulty, contingency and uncertainty.  I am always excited to work with post-graduate students at both Masters and Doctoral level who are interested in problematising 'taken-for-granted' educational discourses.  My doctoral work, and subsequent publications, have drawn on some theoretical resources drawn from the work of of Foucault; Butler; and Rancière.

Currently, I have a research focus in three areas:

Conducting research with colleagues at the University of Worcester for TACTYC concerning the possibilities and challenges for maintained state nurseries in England

The pedagogies and methodologies of the social and embodied practices of academic writing with Dr Emily Danvers and Dr Tamsin Hinton-Smith - see Writing in Meaning website 

The transformative possibilities for the meanings and purpsoes of education with Dr Perpetua Kirby - see Transform-in-Education website

Recent Publications:

[forthcoming] Kirby, P & Webb, R. (2019) Taking Part, Joining In and Being Heard? Ethnographic explorations of children’s participation, in:  J. Todres and Shani King (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Children’s Rights, Oxford: OUP

[in submission] Leaney, S. & Webb, R. Representation as Politics:  the possibilities of a feminist ethic in ethnographic research, Ethnography and Education.

Webb, R. (2019) Poststructuralism and Ideas of Gender Meet Student Voice and Power. In: Encyclopedia of Teacher Education. Springer Reference Work, doi:10.1007/978-981-13-1179-6_26-1

Kirby, P. & Webb, R. (2019) Modelling Transformative Education, Forum, Vol. 61. no. 1. Spring 2019

Webb, R. (2019) ‘Being yourself’: everyday ways of doing and being gender in a ‘rights-respecting’ primary school, Gender and Education, 31:2, 258-273, DOI: 10.1080/09540253.2017.1309010

Webb, R. (2018) What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (by way of introducing ‘the ethnographer’ to a primary school assembly), Entanglements: experiments in multimodal ethnography, 1:2 (online journal),

Danvers, E., Hinton-Smith, T. and Webb, R. (2018) Power, pedagogy and the personal: feminist ethics in facilitating a doctoral writing group of Getting Personal: Theorising Doctoral Writing Groups, Teaching in Higher Education, DOI:10.1080/13562517.2018.1456423

Webb, R. (2018) Research methods for pedagogy, Journal of Education for Teaching, 44:3, 407-409,  DOI: 10.1080/02607476.2018.1444000

Webb, R. (2017): The posthuman child – educational transformation through philosophy with picture books, Journal of Education for Teaching, DOI:  10.1080/02607476.2017.1374072,

Webb, R. (2017) Being Yourself:  everyday ways of doing and being gender in a Rights-Respecting primary school, Gender and Education, pp.1-16

Webb, R. (2017) with E. Mayes, S.  Bakhshi, V. Wasner, A. Cook-Sather, M. Mohammad, D.C. Bishop, S. Groundwater-Smith, M. Prior, E. Nelson, J. McGregor, K, R. Webb, R, L. Flashman, C. McLaughlin, E. Cowley, E. (2017). What can a conception of power do? Theories and images of power in student voice work. International Journal of Student Voice, Volume 1, No.1,. Web link:

Recent Conferences:

Forthcoming - “Keeping the Children and Community in Mind’’: Attending to discourses of poverty in the maintained nursery school for CTLR annual Change event, July 2019

National Education Union, Celebrating Education event, March 2019, delivering workshop entitled 'Broadening the curriculum to engage with uncertainty - where children are not just working out the correct answer' with Dr Perpetua Kirby

Europa-Universitat Flensburg, January 2019, ZeBUSS delivering academic writing workshops as part of ZeBUSS Winter School

Enhancing Higher Education Through Research Conference, University of Brighton, with Dr Emily Danvers and Dr Tamsin Hinton-Smith, Feb.2019, paper,'Developing academic writing and international doctoral student experience: Transition, translation and the rules of the game'

Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research and the Centre for Teaching and Learning Research at the University of Sussex, Oct. 2018, ‘Critical perspectives on transitions into, through and beyond Higher Education’ conference, with Dr Emily Danvers and Dr Tamsin Hinton Smith, paper, 'Transitioning with and between doctoral spaces for writing and knowing'

National Universities Commission, Abuja, Nigeria, Sept. 2018, contributor to Transformative Higher Education and Pedagogy Conference

Impact events

Webb, R., Kirby, P., Higgins, S. and Mazanderani, F. (2019) ran workshop with 12 secondary and primary heads/school leaders to create space of ‘uncertainty’ for staff to explore the PREVENT strategy, funded by a Sussex impact booster grant. Work with teachers is planned to continue.

Kirby, P. and Webb, P. 'Broadening the curriculum to engage with uncertainty – where children are not simply working out the correct answer', workshop at the National Education Union, Celebrating Education conference, Saturday 30th March 2019, UCL Institute of Education (IoE), London.

Press work

BBC Radio Four, Women's Hour, interview with Jane Garvey on girls conformity in school, 21st January, 2019

BBC Radio Sussex, BBC Sussex Drive at 5, interview with Sarah Gorrell about TRANSFORM-iN EDUCATION, 14th December, 2018

‘Spaces to be uncertain: New initiative calls for conformity to be challenged in the classroom’ article on TRANSFORM-iN EDUCATION in Education Today (12/12/18)